Cleaning Enhancements and Requirements: Questions and answers

Employees will need to clean workspaces 

Following the Flashes Safe Eight principles, and as part of the university’s reopening plan, custodial staff have and continue to systematically clean buildings, classrooms and offices. If you have work materials or personal items on the surfaces in your office, those areas are  not cleaned. You will need to clean those areas yourself before you use them.

Our custodial staff continue to clean all spaces that are accessible to employees as well as the public. These spaces include but are not limited to waiting rooms, seating areas in corridors, conference rooms and bathrooms. In classrooms, instructors are responsible for cleaning their workspace (e.g., podium, keyboard, camera, table). Supplies are available at the entrance to each classroom for student use.

All office suites have cleaning supplies available for employee use. If you work on the Kent campus and do not want your office cleaned by custodial staff, then contact Todd Burdette at tburdet1@kent.edu to opt out of any custodial staff cleaning. Employees managing reception counters will need to clean the counter/high-touch surfaces after each guest. Employees who share spaces that are not accessible to the public (e.g., break rooms, copy rooms, supply rooms) are expected to sanitize contact areas in these spaces after each use.

Why am I being asked to clean my workspace with a microfiber towel?  

We are using microfiber towels because they are much more effective in controlling the spread of viruses and bacteria than other types of cloths or paper towels. In addition, per university public health experts, microfiber towels also disinfect the hands during use. Microfiber towels also provide a more sustainable option than paper towels. Microfiber towels will be collected and laundered daily by the custodial staff and/or contracted services. Upon collection of towels for laundering, the supply will be replenished.

Can shared laptops be used if we disinfect them when distributing? 

The Flashes Safe Seven states: All employees will be required to clean and sanitize their workspaces and common spaces throughout the day, between shifts and at the close of each day. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones and keyboards. 

How do I order cleaning supplies for the classrooms in my college?  

You do not need to place an order for cleaning supplies for the classrooms in your college. University Facilities Management (UFM) and custodial staff at the Regional Campuses and the College of Podiatric Medicine will provide the surface disinfectant for each classroom and replenish them as needed. 

Are paper towels better to dry your hands with than air hand dryers? 

The CDC recommends drying by either paper towels or air dryers. Using either method, it is recommended that hands be dried thoroughly to reduce the spread of contamination. 

What is the difference between hand sanitizers that are on the market? 

The CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand rub with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol in healthcare settings. Unless hands are visibly soiled, an alcohol-based hand rub is preferred over soap and water in most clinical situations due to evidence of better compliance compared to soap and water. Hand rubs are generally less irritating to hands and are effective in the absence of a sink.

Due to increased sales of isopropyl alcohol-based sanitizers, making them hard to find, most hand sanitizers are ethyl alcohol based, which is the same alcohol used for consumption. Buyer beware, as percentages can vary. It is important to check the label.

Recently, hand sanitizers have made their way to the market with methanol, a toxic substance that can be absorbed through the skin. The Food and Drug Administration has published a list of banned hand sanitizers.  

What additional changes will be made to restrooms and Classrooms?  

Restrooms and classrooms will be deep cleaned twice daily by custodial staff using Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants for killing the COVID-19 virus. Custodians will also clean touch points frequently throughout their shifts. In addition to enhanced cleaning, public/shared restrooms at all campuses/locations will be provided with signage and foot handles for the entrance door.  

How will bathrooms be cleaned? 

Kent State has committed to no reduction in custodial staffing for Fiscal Year 2021. One adjustment is that students in residence halls with private bathrooms will clean their own bathrooms this fall. Thus, 10 custodians will be transferred from Residence Services to E&G buildings to help with enhanced cleaning activities. In addition, 25 part-time students are being hired to help with enhanced cleaning. Enhanced cleaning is cleaning the restrooms and classrooms twice daily, Monday-Friday. The first restroom cleaning is traditional cleaning with Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants for killing the COVID-19 virus. The second cleaning is with an electrostatic ionizing machine, again with an EPA-approved disinfectant for killing the COVID-19 virus. Custodians will also wipe touch points frequently throughout their shifts. 
 
We are supplying EPA-approved surface disinfectants for each classroom to enable the instructor to clean the teaching station and students to clean their desks.  

How often are public spaces (water fountains, bathrooms, general space, etc.) being cleaned?  

Water fountains have been turned off. Water bottle fill stations are still active and are cleaned daily. See above for cleaning frequencies.